Saturday, March 28, 2009
I spent last Friday working in London, doing locations for a photoshoot for National Express. Fantastically for me, they wanted me to find the prime locations to take photos of Canary Wharf and The Gherkin (30 St Marys Axe) in London. As I love skyscrappers it was a fantastic chance to visit some of the most impressive buildings in London, none of which I had visited before.
London really does have some cool buildings. One of these days I will get to visit New York or some of the other cities in the world.
Skyscrappers rock! lol
Streaking skyward, a Delta II rocket carries NASA's Kepler spacecraft aloft into the clear night of March 6. The dramatic scene was recorded in a time exposure from the crowded pier in Jetty Park at the northern end of Cocoa Beach, Florida, about 3 miles from the Cape Canaveral launch site. Kepler's mission is to search for Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zone of other stars. A planet orbiting within a star's habitable zone would have a surface temperature capable of supporting liquid water, an essential ingredient for life as we know it. To find Earth-like planets, Kepler's telescope and large, sensitive camera will examine a rich star field near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy.
What's happened to the Moon? Nothing, although from some locations, February's full moon, which occurred about two weeks ago, appeared strangely distorted as it rose. Visible in particular was a curiously inverted image section pinched off near the horizon, an effect dubbed the Etruscan vase by the pioneering science fiction writer Jules Verne for its familiar shape. This odd moon image piece was created by moonlight refracting through an atmospheric inversion layer on Earth where cold air was trapped near the surface. The photographer also reported that, as the moon rose, a red rim was faintly visible on the lower part of the moon, while a green rim appeared on the top. Similar to the Sun's famous green flash, these effects arise when the Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism, sending different colors of light on slightly different paths. The above image mosaic has been horizontally compressed by computer to fit a standard screen.
The striking X near the center of this lunarscape is easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope. Yet, not too many have seen it. The catch is, this lunar X is only apparent during a four hour period just before the Moon's first quarter phase. At the terminator, or shadow line between lunar day and night, the X illusion is produced by a configuration of the craters Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach. Near the Moon's first quarter phase, an astronaut standing close to the craters' position would see the slowly rising Sun very near the horizon. Temporarily, the crater walls would be in sunlight while the crater floors were still in darkness. Seen from planet Earth, contrasting sections of bright walls against the dark floors by chance look remarkably like an X. This sharp image of the Lunar X was captured at approximately 11:59 UT on March 3, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I've discovered that there is an unused symbol in written English which is a cross between a Question Mark and a Punctuation Mark. It is called an Interrobang.
As someone who exclaims a lot in life this would be a perfect tool for me, as the "!?" or "?!" is just not classy enough for me lol
I was going to set a group up on facebook lol, but I found that I had been beaten to it. Can you believe it, but the group has 1800 memebers?! <---- great place for an interrobang there lol
So please consider promoting the use of the interrobang wherever you can. There are poor people in this world who exclaim more than they should, and need this tool to help them do it! ;)
Monday, March 23, 2009
After all the posters and trailers I put up for Watchmen, I thought I had better at least mention my thoughts on the it now I have seen it. I saw it on IMAX when I was last down in London......and it rocked!!
Not having read the graphic novel meant I had no preconceptions of what to expect. I personally loved it! It is a dark and adult story squarely set in the Cold War (which I am old enough to still remember very clearly). In fact Harrogate is one of the First Strike areas in the UK, thanks to one of the US's major Northern Hemisphere listening stations being only 7 miles from my house called Menwith Hill. In an attack Menwith Hill would be taken out straight away as it can listen to signals from all around the world. A sobering thought to a child.
So I loved and recognised the air of doom and inevitability that runs all the way through the film of an approaching nuclear Armageddon. It is a film about superheroes that firmly grounds them in a reality. They're all sociopaths and psychos in it. Dastardly plans for mass murder are discovered and attempted to be thwarted. The film looks very much at the dark side of the human experience.
And it looks great!! Abd especially on a 30 foot high IMAX screen. Cutting edge SFX and a kick-ass soundtrack as well. In fact I have been so taken with the film that I have since read the graphic novel, and although comic books are not a medium that particually enjoy, I can say that I appriciate the balls the book had in the first place; and I can see how it earned its name as "The Greatest Comic Book Ever Written".
It is acted to perfection, with 2 actors - Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian being truly amazing. I loved this film and can't wait to have it in my collection (in High Def, of course). Zack Snyder, the director is a new class act (after 300 and Dawn of the Dead). Can't wait to see what he does next.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Just a quick post to say goodbye to a TV show that has become probably the best show I ever watched.
Proper dark sci-fi with a bite, that ended with the same sort of punch that it started. A sci-fi show that dealt with spirituality, genocide, and what it means to be human (even from the non-human characters). With some episodes ranking amongst the greatest things I have ever seen committed to film (Downloaded!!!, Exodus part 2!!!! and Blood on the Scales!!!!)
I will sorely miss you, and I look forward to Caprica (the next show). Thank you Ron D Moore, David Eike, and your note perfect cast.
So Say We All!!!!!!!!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
They've finally cut together the trailer for The Rapture that I worked on Nov/Dec 2008. And, I must admit, it looks pretty damn swanky! lol
So here it is. Please enjoy. And weren't there some cool locations in there? ;)
So here it is. Please enjoy. And weren't there some cool locations in there? ;)
Finally got to play RE5 this week. My mate Stuey brought his shiny PS3 around, and we played this lastest version of my favourite game for 3 days until we finished lol
And what a game!! It looks AMAZING in High Def on my nice 42" HD TV lol, and is as scary as it always was.
Not much more to say other than *in creepy deep voice* "YOU DIED"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A marine monster described as the most fearsome animal ever to swim in the oceans boasted a bite up to 11 times as strong as that of Tyrannosaurus rex.
The fossil remains of the huge pliosaur were dug up last summer from the permafrost on Svalbard, a Norwegian island close to the North Pole.
Analysis revealed that it was a turbo-charged swimmer. Its front flippers allowed the creature, dubbed Predator X, to cruise along comfortably but when prey came into range the power of its hind flippers kicked in to provide extra acceleration.
Measurements of its jaw and the killing power of its dagger-like teeth have shown that it could bite down with a force of 33,000lb per square inch compared with T. rex’s 3,000lb per square inch. Alligators have the strongest bite today with about 2,500lb per square inch.
New Dinosaur Species Revealed on PREDATOR X - Funny videos are here
Researchers have been astonished by the size of the reptile, which exceeded even that of another pliosaur, called The Monster, which was found at the same site a year earlier.
Predator X is thought to have been at least 50 feet long, perhaps more, and measurements of its bulk suggest that it would have weighed in at 45 tonnes.
Its discovery was announced yesterday in Oslo by Jørn Hurum, of the University of Oslo, who led the expedition to dig up the remains. At least 20,000 fragments have been recovered including most of the jaws, which were 10 feet long. Dr Hurum said: “It was the most ferocious hunter ever. It’s like a turbo-charged predator. This is a very, very large carnivore.”
He added that Predator X was smaller than the biggest marine reptile yet known, a 75ft ichthyosaur from 210 million years ago, and was about the same length as the largest fossil shark to have been identified by palaeontologists. Predator X, however, was armed with much bigger teeth and, with its ability to close in at enormous speed, would have been much faster and deadlier than either of them.
Dr Hurum believes that Predator X and The Monster are likely to represent the same species of pliosaur. “Its anatomy, physiology and hunting strategy all point to it being the ultimate predator — the most dangerous creature to patrol the Earth’s oceans.”
The turbo-charge feature of its hind flippers was identified in tests by John Long, of Vassar College, New York State, using a four-flippered robot called Madeline.
Researchers had been puzzled about why the marine predator should have needed four flippers when the front two were perfectly adequate for it to swim well.
A CT scan of a pliosaur skull held at the Natural History Museum in London has showed that the ancient marine predators had a brain the same shape and proportion as the great white shark, which is regarded as today’s “perfect killing machine”.
Friday, March 13, 2009
An old school friend has posted a class picture of us all on Facebook. God knows when it was. I guess we are about 13/14 in it, so that puts it 1987/88/89. I havent seen that pic in 20 years, and can only rememeber about half the peoples names (for shame!). There is some classic 80's hair on display as well (go Amanda! lol). I'd like to say "good times", but it usually wasnt! lol
But, God, dont we look young?
I've bagged a fantastic property for Exposé, so we are a go for filming.
Its a beauty, an Elizabethan manor house, with moat and bridge. We had a detailed recce with the director, DOP, and art department - and you could see how excited everyone was to be able to film at this place. Can't wait. :)
And I finally found where the é was on my computer. Only taken me a month of implying that we were making a film about a flasher! lol
Saturday, March 07, 2009
NASA launched its Kepler spacecraft just before 11 p.m. Friday in a mission that the agency says may fundamentally change humanity's view of itself.
The Kepler spacecraft blasted into space on top of a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The telescope will search our corner of the Milky Way galaxy for Earth-like planets.
"This is a historical mission. It's not just a science mission," NASA Associate Administrator Ed Weiler said during a prelaunch news conference.
"It really attacks some very basic human questions that have been part of our genetic code since that first man or woman looked up in the sky and asked the question: Are we alone?"
Kepler contains a special telescope that will stare at 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the Milky Way for more than three years as it trails Earth's orbit around the Sun.
The spacecraft will look for tiny dips in a star's brightness, which can mean an orbiting planet is passing in front of it -- an event called a transit.
The instrument is so precise that it can register changes in brightness of 20 parts per million in stars that are thousands of light years away.
"Being able to make that kind of a sensitive measurement over a very large number of stars was extremely challenging," Kepler project manager James Fanson said.
"So we're very proud of the vehicle we have built. This is a crowning achievement for NASA and a monumental step in our search for other worlds around other stars."
"We won't find E.T., but we might find E.T.'s home," said William Borucki, science principal investigator for the Kepler mission.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Had a brilliant time yesterday at the screening of a promo for The Rapture, held at BAFTA headquarters on Picadilly in London. The footage looks brilliant and it was great to catch up with everyone from there.
Then onto the wrap party held at a swanky Mayfair club called Vendome. It was VIP passes and free vodka all night! lol As a result I think I have never drunk so much vodka in my life.
And as I write this I cannot decide if I should try to go to sleep again, throw up, or maybe both! lol
A great night and fantastic fun. But in the words of Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon - "I'm getting too old for this shit!"
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
We've upscaled the house requirements for Expose. Gone is the farmhouse/cottage, now we are looking for a Country House/Manor house lol.
I have visited some AMAZING places recently. Some incredible houses with so much history sloshing around that I they dont know what to do with it!
One house, Great Tangley Manor has a room made from the beams of captured Spanish Galleons from the Armarda! lol. But also this house has had a few kings stay over the years. And there seems to be a trend of the Monarch scratching their name into a set of windows! lol. King George and Queen Mary, and King Edward VIII (who was called Albert)
But still looking for the prefect house. There are actually so many I dont know where to start! loo. Fingers crossed.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I'm heading down south for a couple of weeks tomorrow to find the cottage that is the centrepiece of Expose (why, what did you think I meant?) ;)
Got some nice places lined up for viewing, so fingers crossed the director will like what I have to show him.
I've been immersed in cottages for the past few days, and some are beauties that I would love to live in. There are some crazy places out there that have been made from converted Windmills, Watermills, and Lighthouses. Frankly, I would love to live there. Fingers crossed!